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Business


Singapore Informatics gearing to be an IT-Plus Institute

Renders yeomen service to IT education in Sri Lanka

So far Informatics has produced more than 30,000 graduates globally and the Sri Lankan counterpart contribution is a hefty 5,000 so far. Jayalath said “Per year we train about 2,000 students. He said the major plus point has been that all their graduates are highly employable and reiterated that their potential in obtaining employment has been so great that by the end of the first year itself most students are employed.

By Quintus Perera
The Singapore Informatics Computer Institute (Pvt) Ltd (SICI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Informatics Education Ltd, Singapore which was established in 1994 has been providing yeomen service to the youth of this country, especially those who fail to get university admission.
Singapore Informatics is in 23 countries around the globe and imparts vital Information Technology (IT) education through their 123 centers in these countries.

In continuing their vital educational service SICI is providing education to prepare them for global employment and their vision is to provide education on par with all the universities in the world, so that those who get their qualifications are readily employable anywhere in the world and of course their slot in Sri Lanka is also assured. What is noteworthy here is that those under-graduates in their first year or second year would get employment and once they complete their degree or diploma they are well established in their respective employments.

The present situation in Sri Lanka seems to be that the national universities in the country are unable to adequately provide the much needed skills for the country. Therefore, private educational institutions like the SICI is shouldering a big responsibility in assisting to provide this much needed vocational and tertiary training. In the case of SICI they provide IT skills that are vitally required in our country as well as globally.

Mahen Jayalath, Director, Sri Lanka Territory Corporate Office, SICI said “In fact we have our five core-values and our main objective is to become an IT-Plus Institute. When we say IT-Plus though our core-education is IT we have Business Administration Education too. But of course our core-competence lies in IT.”
They call IT-Plus because of the uniqueness they have achieved wherein they have become an Informatics Virtual Campus with IT enabled learning experience. The students could access their study material on-line. The student can get his or her examination results on-line or though SMS into their mobile telephone.

The second core-value is being truly global which is the educational system in Singapore Informatics targets to make global citizens without restriction of geographical or national boundaries. Students who are involved in learning in Sri Lanka has the option to continue the same course in other countries like China, Malaysia, Singapore or United Kingdom - an opportunity that other such educational institutions would fail to offer.

Mr. Jayalath said that this is because their curricula prepared by academics and distinguished professors drawn from many universities in the world are the same in all these countries. They make sure it is a globally accepted curriculua, so that the students who learn at SICI are globally employable. Even though they have started bestowing diploma education initially, since then they have grown into an institution which now provide degree plus post-graduate education.
At graduate level they impart education to achieve BSc in Computer Science, Computing and Technology Management and also Bachelor of Business Administration. At Master’s level they offer MBA from University of Wales and MSc in Strategic IT from University of Portsmouth UK

So far Informatics has produced more than 30,000 graduates globally and the Sri Lankan counterpart contribution is a hefty 5,000 so far. Jayalath said “Per year we train about 2,000 students. He said the major plus point has been that all their graduates are highly employable and reiterated that their potential in obtaining employment has been so great that by the end of the first year itself most students are employed.

The reason for this employability potential has been that they not only impart their students tertiary education, but also give them soft-skills necessary to obtain jobs and with their Professional Development Centre most of their students are able to obtain their professional skills while doing their degree studies. SICI also provides global employment services.
Once a Sri Lankan obtains his degree from SICI he becomes a member of the Singapore Informatics Global Alumni and then he becomes a part of the 30,000 strong alumni membership. One of the services offered by this Global Alumni is global employment service and the graduate would be able to apply for this service on-line. Also SICI work very closely with big IT Companies and with these links, once students complete their study course, there is no difficulty of obtaining jobs locally.
In addition to their main Centre in Colombo, SICI also has centres in Kandy, Nugegoda, Kolonnawa, Anuradhapura and Ratnapura which are called franchise centres.

What is unique has been that there would not arise any language barrier because, those applicants who fulfill entry qualifications to study in SICI, if they are weak in their English, they will be provided with an intensive English Training before the students embark on their degree courses.

The study course offered by SICI are very popular and they have felt that there is a high potential for their study courses and now they are planning to expand, specially in the rural Sri Lanka to tap this high potential. They are planning to expand their franchise centres and also are planning to start a system of licensing – to offer license to educational institutions in the provinces. This is a practiced in Singapore and in other countries.

Their e-learning system is the largest outside United States. In Sri Lanka, there is a dearth of quality trainers and with e-learning their students can learn directly from university lecturers in those universities for which the students are following courses. For instance if a student is following a degree course from Portsmouth University, the student would be able to directly communicate with the lecturers involved through

e- learning service.
Earlier they were just a training institute for Informatics confined to Colombo but with time the Sri Lankan Institute has registered an immense improvement and expansion and now it has developed into Sri Lanka Territorial Corporate Office (SLTCO) making Sri Lanka as the Informatics Educational Hub for South-East Asia. In fact they have already expanded to Maldives and also countries like India and even Mauritius
SICI now prepares to reap their harvest as on November 2, their annual convocation would be held at the BMICH where 50 students are to receive their degrees.

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Standard Chartered does a `Sight Walk’

Commemorates World Sight Day with staff, their family members

The staff volunteers of Standard Chartered Bank Sri Lanka, their family members and friends walked for a cause on Sunday in a bid to commemorate World Sight Day, 2007. The `Sight Walk’ from Francis Road Wellawatte to Station Road– Bambalapitiya began at 8.30am under the belief, `You give us a hand, we’ll give them sight’.

The initiative, which forms a part of the Bank’s `Seeing is Believing’ (SIB) initiative to counter avoidable blindness, was aimed at raising public awareness and funds towards preventing childhood blindness. The Bank partnered with the Lions Club International for the event that received an overwhelming response.

Clive Haswell, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Sri Lanka said, “It is known that in the developing world a person goes blind every five seconds and a child every minute, this year’s walk focused mainly on childhood blindness. I am touched by the participation of staff in such large numbers, which is a testimony to our commitment towards the community. It is also a pleasure to have partnered with the Lions Club as their work towards sight restoration is note worthy.”

Standard Chartered world over through its Seeing Is Believing programme aims at making a difference to the lives of 10 million people by World Sight Day 2010. The programme will be delivered through a range of social, medical and community based projects focusing on prevention as well as intervention. Seeing is Believing has already raised more than USD 3 Million to help to contribute to one million sight restorations across the world. Seeing is Believing is a partnership within Vision 2020: The Right to Sight. There are 37 million blind people in the world and yet a staggering 75% of this blindness was either preventable or is reversible.

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SLT to provide communication solutions to Asian Alliance

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the country’s only integrated telecommunication service provider signed an agreement with Asian Alliance Insurance PLC (AAI), one of Sri Lanka’s significant players in the insurance industry, to provide communication solutions to enhance its business activities.

Speaking on the agreement, Shoji Takahashi, CEO of SLT said: “We are extremely happy to provide a total communication solution to Asian Alliance Insurance PLC. I am assured that our world-class technology will further enhance their ambitious business plans offering real time communication and scalability, especially with regard to meeting future strategic needs.”
An agreement was signed to provide total voice communication solutions comprising of a state of the art PABX infrastructure and inter-branch communication system. As a result of this enhancement Asian Alliance will enjoy the facility of seamless connectivity for communication between the head office and its island wide Branch network. Broadband Internet and inter branch data communication system via IP/VPN solution which is capable of carrying voice and mission critical data securely and reliably is already in place as the backbone infrastructure of AAI. Ensuring the safety of their valuable customer data, Asian Alliance has already hosted their data at the SLT iDC (internet Data Centre) located at SLT head office.

Ramal Jasinghe, CEO, Asian Alliance Insurance Company said: “As a company we cater to a growing client base, consisting of corporate and individual clients, offering tailor made insurance solutions. We chose SLT as the reliability that it carries along with the strength of its brand makes a perfect fit for us to provide uninterrupted “real time” services to our clientele. SLT has been around for a long time, and its confidence among the public at large, is very well established. As we are in a confidence based financial service, the blend of the confidence that the Brands “SLT” and “Asian Alliance” brings is indeed a comfort to our policyholders. The high quality technology, as well as its scalability, meets with our business expansion needs. We find SLT as a flexible and a great partner to have on board.”

The solution offered by SLT facilitates AAI with direct cost savings through inter branch communication via the corporate network. This communication system makes operations smoother by providing access to a centralized IT network at any given time. Also the system enables communication between the head office and the branch network as well as to provide total security for customers of AAI by hosting business and customer information at the SLT internet Data Center (iDC). It enhances the capabilities of the customer through the maintenance of online information, customer’s financial information, the company’s investment information, remote access for corporate information, cash collection as well as sales information among others through their real time system.

The solution will enable the company to offer online services to customers such as online insurance guidance, online insurance schemes, new insurance schemes with partnership of other companies, as well as enhancing the business capabilities and processors via SLT’s state-of-the-art technology and their world-class communication facilities, which will open new avenues and innovative services for AAI to further diversify its business activities and distribution channels.
Sri Lanka Telecom (www.slt.lk) is one of the country’s most valuable blue chip companies with an annual turnover in excess of Rs 40 billion. Whilst NTT Communications Corporation of Japan owns a 35.2% stake in Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), 49.2% is owned by the Government of Sri Lanka and 15.3% is listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. The company was also awarded an AAA (sri) rating by Fitch Ratings Lanka followed by a BB- international rating by Fitch International.

SLT Group has a customer base of over two million including multinational corporations, large and small corporate, retail and domestic customers. Today with NTT Communications of Japan as a strategic partner, SLT provides facilities and services: voice, data, video and mobile to its customers, which are unmatched in scope. These services range from domestic and international voice, advance data transmission services which include internet services on leased lines, broadband [on ADSL] and dial up, data circuits, frame relay solutions to IP services such as IP-VPN based on IP-MPLS technology, total corporate solutions of multiple services, satellite uplink services and mobile telephony through the fully owned subsidiary Mobitel.

With a view to making Sri Lanka a broadband island, SLT is in the process of introducing the necessary infrastructure in the form of NGN [Next Generation Networks] using optical fibre backbone and broadband services such as IMS, IPTV etc. SLT also provides high speed global connectivity to countries in the South Asian region through its investments in international submarine cables such as SMW3, SMW4 and the Bharat Lanka submarine cable [between India and Sri Lanka] and Dhirragu-SLT submarine cable system between Maldives Islands and Sri Lanka. Newly incorporate SLT Hong Kong Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Sri Lanka Telecom, fully geared to provide services such as IP transit, IPVPN, IPLC and International voice traffic transit services to global telecom operators and corporates in Hong Kong.

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Mobitel, the official communication provider for Techno 2007

Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, the National Mobile Service Provider, is the Official Communication Provider for Techno 2007, the country’s premier engineering technology exhibition.

Now in its 22nd year, Techno Exhibitions gained popularity as the launch platform for the exhibitors to introduce their products and services. This provided industry players with an excellent opportunity to keep abreast of the current trends, such as changes in the engineering industry and new technologies which have surfaced.
Techno 2007, which is being held from October 19 – 21, will present a unique opportunity for local and foreign industrialists, manufacturers and suppliers to meet professionals and distributors to promote their products and services in the South and South East Asian market.

In parallel to the exhibition, Techno 2007 will organize the Techno Engineering and Technology Conference 2007, ‘Nanotechnology for Sustainable Development’ with the objective of introducing one of the very latest emerging technologies to Sri Lankan industries.
Ranjith G Rubasinghe, Chairman of the forthcoming Techno, the National Engineering and Technology Exhibition 2007, said, “Techno 2007 will exhibit the latest developments in engineering and cutting-edge technologies in the world, while providing an opportunity to bring in new products to the market through innovations and value-additions. The latest technology drawn into the country will also be shown, paving the way to upgrade our existing technology and to attract people who are passionate with engineering and technology”

“As a company that firmly believes in bringing the latest technology to Sri Lanka, we have partnered this event to showcase this technology to the public. This is the ideal forum for this as this event attracts the highest public attendance in terms of visitors than any other technological event in the country,” Suren J Amarasekera, CEO of Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel said.
Mr. Rubasinghe further said that this year’s exhibition would have a splendid blend of engineering and trade stalls, opening the doors for the industrialists as well as to the general public. Foreign investors and Sri Lankan industrialists will be the core audience of this exhibition. The general public and students will also have the opportunity to experience the pulse of global developments in engineering and technology.

At the exhibition, Mobitel will take pride of place with a large stall in the centre of the hall which will also have an experience centre at which visitors to the exhibition can experience the latest technologies introduced by them.
The Techno 2007 ‘Engineering Excellence Awards’ will recognize the latest engineering product released to the Sri Lankan market, the best Sri Lankan young inventors will be awarded as ‘Junior Inventor of the Year’ and five awards for the best stalls in different categories will also be awarded at the ‘Techno Engineering and Technology Awards 2007’ to be held subsequent to the exhibition.

Five awards for the best stalls in different categories will also be awarded at an awards ceremony to be held subsequent to the exhibition.
Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, the National Mobile Service Provider, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sri Lanka Telecom. In January 2004, the company launched its fully-fledged GSM network that is EDGE/GPRS enabled and designed to operate on dual bands. Investments committed to date in its 3G and GSM service offering totals over US$ 200 mn and is set to increase its present 600 + base stations to 1500 base stations by the end of the year.

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Advertising creativity to be rewarded

Reggie Candappa nominations open

By Quintus Perera
Creativity is an attribute that needs to be nurtured and nourished, and Reggie Candappa—widely considered to be the godfather of the Sri Lankan advertising industry—knew how to do this, according to Neela Marikkar, Co-Founder, Reggie Candappa Foundation and Chairperson, Grant McCann Erickson, speaking at the press briefing to announce the Fourth Crafts Awards Ceremony held at Taj Samudra Hotel last week.
Entries for the award are now open for all agencies, production houses, individuals, and freelancers involved in advertising and allied fields to be recognized for their most skillfully created advertising art forms.
Submissions can take any form of Above and Below The Line print ads created and published in the period from 1st October 2006 to 31st October 2007. Submissions may be in any of the three languages within the categories of typography, logo usage, use of illustration, photography, copywriting, and art direction.
Ms Marikkar, continuing, said that Candappa was a true lover of both the art and the artist. For everyone who came into contract with him in the field of advertising or purely art, it was an opportunity for learning. He was not only her greatest inspiration, she said, but had a hand in fashioning the early footsteps of some of today’s creative greats in the world of advertising.
“The Reggie Candappa Awards is one way to continue the wonderful legacy that he left behind,” said Ms Marikkar, adding, “It is also a special tribute to a great man who still lives on in our hearts.”
The Reggie Candappa Foundation was set up to commemorate the dynamic life of the late advertising doyen Reggie Candappa.
The Awards were conceived of by his family on the first anniversary of his passing, and have been showcasing the crafting talent and artistic ability of the advertising industry in Sri Lanka since 2004.

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Mobil CSR initiative on road signs

McLarens Lubricants Limited, the local distributor of ExxonMobil brands in Sri Lanka,
has extended its support and commitment to its motoring public by way of Road Sign Boards to make aware of Speed Limits and General Road Rules to minimize road mishaps and to promote safe driving.
The press release states that as one of world’s high performance motor oils, Mobil’s unwavering commitment towards safe driving with an empathetic approach towards road users and motorists in general has continually placed high priority to ensure better conditions in these ever increasing population of both categories.
In this backdrop, Mobil’s CSR initiative of Road Signs have supported and encouraged the authorities to create better driving conditions as in many occasions the initiative has come in for high praise from all sectors.
McLarens Lubricants Limited, take pride to have represented the world’s largest oil major and to be privileged to have supported the public on road rules for safer surrounding.

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